Once again the Allianz Riviera was the scene of a real wave of violence. On Thursday night, clashes between fans left 32 injured before the Europa League Conference meeting between OGC Nice and Germans FC Cologne, which was finally moved by an hour and ended in a 1-1 draw. In the aftermath of these incidents, which aroused indignant reactions, arrests could take place.
What happened ?
For the German fans, the hostilities started in the afternoon in the center of Nice. Even before they get to the stadium. They have degraded monuments and tagged tram stations, resulting in repair costs of 35,000 euros, according to a first estimate that the city hall of Nice intends to demand from the Cologne club. The city and the transport authority of Lignes d’Azur will file a complaint. In Place Masséna the window of the OGC Nice official store was also damaged. At the beginning of the evening the first clashes took place outside the Allianz Riviera before the situation completely degenerated inside. An hour before kick-off, initially scheduled for 6.45pm, several hundred spectators wearing the colors of Cologne from the more than 8,000 present in the Ray stand invaded the presidential stand to go to battle with the Nice fans , installed in the popular South Standing. Fights broke out in the stadium, sometimes with seats or torn iron bars, injuring several dozen people. The videos show the real chaos.
OGC Nice also denounced a “forced passage for the access controls to the stadium by the German side”. A crisis meeting was organized between the representatives of UEFA, the prefect of the Maritime Alps, the public prosecutor and the mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi and it was decided to postpone the kick-off by one hour. The prefecture, which explained in the evening that the gates of the stadium had been “temporarily closed, time to calm down” after the intervention of the police, stated that “there were no accidents during the match.
What is the budget?
On Friday night, a report showed 32 injured including two police officers and a steward, and four people hospitalized. A fan who arrived from the FC Cologne stands was transported to “absolute emergency” after a fall of more than 5 meters between two levels of the stands, but by the end of the evening his vital prognosis was no longer committed. “Very alcoholic,” according to the prefect’s chief of staff, this individual was actually a Parisian. The presence of fans of the capital on the stand of the German club, with their colors, was thus confirmed by several sources. PSG’s “Supras Auteuil” pulled out a banner at the start of the match. The prefecture of the Maritime Alps explains this Friday that “the security system made up of 450 policemen and gendarmes was strengthened during the day by 200 police officers”, with 600 stewards. It ensures that it was “proportionate to the light of the elements mentioned [elle] had and the assessment of the level of risk of this meeting “.
Also questioned in the morning by 20 minutes, prosecutor Xavier Bonhomme indicated for his part that “there had been no arrest at this stage”. The prosecutor has announced the opening of three investigations entrusted to departmental security with “the purpose of identifying and arresting the perpetrators of these crimes”. They concern “damage in rallies at the OGC Nice club official sales point”, “violence in rallies at the Allianz Riviera stadium” and “violence in rallies inside the sports enclosure, introductions and launch of smoke bombs and damage in rallies committed inside of the Allianz Riviera Stadium “.
What are the reactions?
These new scenes of violence among the fans, reminiscent of those that broke out during the abortive match between Nice and Marseille in August 2021, aroused in particular the ire of the Minister of Sport. “He is fed up, he is really fed up that our sport is dirty in this way, that we can no longer tell ourselves that we are going with our boys in a calm and reassuring way to a stadium”, repented Amélie Oudea-Castera. “Dumbfounded”, OGC Nice for its part “condemned with the utmost firmness” this “wave of violence”. The management of the club says they want “all the light that is thrown on the conditions that have made this succession of events possible. […] so that the necessary measures are taken to supervise its upcoming European meetings ”. On Thursday evening, on social media, the Nice fans question the security system in place. After the match, coach Lucien Faivre also spoke about these clashes: “It is disappointing, irritating to see him. It shouldn’t exist. “And to clarify:” Our supporters have nothing to be ashamed of. I’m not afraid of a suspension of the stadium. It would be too unfair. “
Köln assistant coach André Pawlak also denounced “a real scandal”. “There are no words. It is very sad and difficult to see him,” he said. The German club acknowledged that “the sanctions [contre lui] they are probable “. PSG also reacted on Friday morning. While condemning “with the utmost firmness the violence committed”, he also states that the “Supras Auteuil group was dissolved by decree of 29 April 2010” and that its members “are not recognized supporters of Paris Saint-Germain and are forbidden to enter the Parc des Princes “.